Same sex cultural imperialism
For decades the American left made a business of denouncing "cultural imperialism," the imposition of Western values on third world cultures. Coca-Colonialism, as it was sometimes caricatured, needed resistance abroad and at home. So the left came up with "multiculturalism," which held we cannot judge other cultures, and all must be equally respected.
In practice, the only culture which could be judged harshly was our own. Multiculturalism is now the dominant ideology of education and government.And gay rights, which has dopted the rainbow flag as its symbol, has been seen as an integral part of that theory.
But one exception is made to the respect demanded for non-Western values: same sex marriage, and more broadly, the normalization of homosexuality. Without question, this cause is the product of advanced Western cultures - exactly the same cultures which colonized the world a century and more ago, in fact. Those imperialist cultures are now telling the third world that our values trump theirs, and they had better get with the program.
Predictably, those cultures don't like it. President Obama's current trip to Africa has spurred a reaction. Kenya's newspaper, The Nation, writes:
Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday urged US leader Barack Obama to respect Kenyans' culture, saying they would not abandon their traditions that condemn same-sex marriages.
The Deputy President said Kenya was ready to work with other "sovereign and God-fearing" nations, adding that the government would continue to foster these relations.
It is not only Christians, but also Muslims, who reject same sex marriage and adhere to their scriptural teachings on homosexual relations. These countries do not have a large class of media and communications professionals that have been actively promoting homosexuality for decades, as in the US and other former imperialist wealthy nations. Their religious institutions likewise have not experienced the denaturing force of progressive theologians to the same extent as the West.
And they are not anxious to bend to the will of the West:
Mr Ruto urged foreign governments to respect Kenya's sovereignty. "But for these other things we hear it is none of our business as it goes against our customs and traditions," he said, referring to President Obama's call for African countries to respect the rights of gay people.
The American media will avoid like poison this question of cultural imperialism. But it won't go away.